Mexican children’s cartoon Chabelo died at the age of 88.
Xavier López Rodriguez, a Mexican actor, entertainer, and businessman who died on Saturday at the age of 88, played the squeaky-voiced, short-wearing child character.
En Familia con Chabelo (Family Time with Chabelo) was his children’s game show that aired live every Sunday for 45 years and was even inducted into the Guinness Book of Records. its record-breaking run.
This apparent immortality inspired a massive internet fandom to celebrate Chabelo’s apparent immortality.Even though the television show ended in 2015, memes about the character have continued to circulate, inserting him into historical occasions in Mexico, seating him at the Last Supper, or even implying he lived through the Big Bang – persisted for years.
These irreverent jokes, however, concealed a genuine affection. Chabelo’s albums, films, and Sunday television shows influenced generations of people. “There isn’t a single Mexican who hasn’t heard of Chabelo,” says the author. Laura Martnez is a New York-based Mexican journalist..
On February 17, 1935, López was born to Mexican parents in Chicago, Illinois. Soon after, the family relocated to León, Mexico, where he and his two sisters were raised. In 2020, he told the Mexican magazine Caras that he had lived in Mexico “all my life” and was “100% Mexican.”
He served for a short time on a military base in California during the Korean War after being drafted into the US army at the age of 18 due to his dual citizenship.The war had ended before he could participate. After that, he went back to Mexico to finish his medical education and spend several years practising medicine there.
He started working as a part-time assistant at Televisa’s corporate headquarters in Mexico while pursuing a medical degree.He started stepping in for absent actors and was once asked to read a joke about a boy named Chabelo on the radio.
“When I read it, a child’s voice came out, and that’s where Chabelo was born,” López explained to Caras. He decided against studying medicine and instead went to study drama. The expression on my father’s face when I told him is something I’ll never forget, he told the magazine.
His character became one of the faces of the soft drink brand Pepsi in the 1950s. López appeared in their commercials across North and South America before launching his own.
His television show, however, cemented his place in Mexican culture. Since its debut in December 1968, En Familia con Chabelo has been broadcast live every Sunday morning.
On the show, families would appear and compete for prizes by running in hamster wheels, climbing greasy poles, or crossing the studio with a huge water balloon between their legs. Tens of millions of Mexican children would gather in front of their televisions to engage Chabelo in conversation.But it was his television show that cemented his place in Mexican culture. Since its inception in December 1968, En Familia con Chabelo has been broadcast live every Sunday morning.
On the show, families would appear and compete for prizes by running in hamster wheels, climbing greasy poles, or crossing the studio with a huge water balloon between their legs. Tens of millions of Mexican children would gather in front of their televisions to engage Chabelo in conversation.
Roberto Carrera Maldonado, a person who grew up in Zacatecas during the 1980s, would awaken early every week to watch the programme. My sister and I watched on low volume because there was only one TV in the house in order to keep our parents from waking up.
He cited “parents who used [the show] to keep their children quiet while they slept.” “I envied the kids who got to appear on the show.” “I’ve always wondered how I was going to get on there.”
In the late 1970s, Ms Martnez was in the audience for one of his shows.At 6:00 a.m., her grandmother woke her up. to line up outside the Mexico City studio for a live broadcast.
“I will never forgive her,” she declared. “I recall being disappointed because you expected it to be like what you saw on television – Chabelo really close to you, clowns and hostesses, etc.” really cute.girls in mini skirts. But everything was so far away in the studio, it was dark, and the show was so long.”
La Catafixia was a special segment at the end of the show. Chabelo would allow contestants to gamble their prize money on prizes hidden behind three numbered doors.
The audience would see the options, which included everything from inexpensive gifts like sweets and toys to white and electronic goods, furniture, and even a car, but the players would have to choose one. to choose blindly. The show helped many of the companies that provided the prizes, including the furniture manufacturer Muebles Troncoso, become well-known.
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